Ryan Horwath jigs for cod and rockfish out of Kodiak. He and his father moved to Kodiak in 2003 to take the reins of his uncle’s fishing business. Ryan is a member of the Alaska Jig Association and an advocate for sustainable fisheries. Ryan was recently appointed to AMCC’s board of directors.
What is your connection to the ocean, coastal Alaska, or the fishing industry?
Growing up in Rochester, NY, I had an elusive uncle who would occasionally show up and describe the harsh winters and stories of adventure in Alaska. One year in the middle of a blizzard he showed up with a box full of king crab. After a night of the adults stuffing themselves with the delicacy, he proceeded to build an igloo on our front lawn informing me, “These are our houses in Alaska.” I was intrigued. After a tragic diving accident in 2003, I was the only one of four siblings who had ever fished with him—or even stepped foot in Alaska—and I was asked to help settle the estate. My father and I both left our lives in the Lower 48 with dreams of independence and freedom. Thirteen years later, I’m the weird uncle in Alaska, jigging for cod and rockfish.
How did you first get involved with AMCC and why you decided to become a member of AMCC?
What are the strongest connections between you and AMCC?
What do you see as the number one issue facing Alaska’s fishing industry? And how can AMCC help?
I see the privatization of public resources as the greatest threat to the industry and free market. While jobs and access to the fisheries continue to shrink, the distribution of wealth goes into fewer and fewer hands. AMCC is working to keep opportunities in the industry open for generations to come.
What kind of fishing do you like to do?
My favorite kind of fishing is jigging. The freedom to explore and low impact of jig fishing on the resource and the environment make it an ideal way to harvest species which have been historically over-fished. Slow catch rates present opportunities for direct marketing while adding value to fish that are usually a low ex-vessel price.